Fresh Eats Blog: Garlic

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: garlic.

Did You Know?

Although garlic is native to central Asia, did you know China is currently its largest producer?

Each bulb of garlic contains many nutrients, including potassium, iron, calcium, and Vitamin C.

Garlics’ health benefits date back centuries and is believed the help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure!

The end Garlic’s growing season in South West British Columbia ends in October but can be stored for months after harvest! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Roasted-Garlic Bread



1/2 cup Roasted Garlic
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 loaf rustic French or Italian bread


Step 1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mash roasted garlic and cooking oil to a coarse paste with a fork.

Step 2- Split bread horizontally and spread garlic paste evenly on cut sides. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Step 3- Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until garlic is golden and edges of bread are crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 4- Cut into wedges for serving.

Roasted- Garlic Mashed Potatoes



2 heads garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons butter


Step 1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off and discard top quarter of garlic heads. Drizzle garlic with oil; wrap in foil. Bake until tender, 1 hour. Squeeze out garlic cloves; discard skins.

Step 2- Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water by 1 inch; season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3- Drain, and return to pan. Heat over medium, stirring, until a thin starchy film covers bottom of pan. Remove from heat; add half-and-half, butter, and garlic. Mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients at the Market

Garlic: Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Forstbauer Farm

Potatoes: Forstbauer Farms

Bread: A Bread Affair

Other Greens and Vegetables:  Forstbauer Farms, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, From Beds to Bowls Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Garlic Planting 101:

Step 1- It is recommended to grow garlic in the fall but it can be planted in early spring. A few days before you plant, break apart the cloves from its bulb but do not remove the husks.

Note: It is not recommended that you plant from store bought bulbs. Make sure you buy from a local nursery or farmers market and choose a variety that suits your growing environment.

Step 2- Make sure the space you have chosen to plant is well-drained with plenty of organic matter. If not you may choose to add organic fertilizer or mulch. Also, ensure the place where you are going is sunny.

Note: If you notice the leaves of your plants have a yellow hue, add fertilizer.

Step 3- Place cloves 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep, in their upright position. Make sure the wide root side facing down and pointed end facing up.

Step 4- During the colder, frost months, add a heavy amount of mulch. Water about 3-5 days during warmer months.

Step 5- Once you see the tip of your plants have a yellow colour and they begin to fall, it is time to harvest. Another indicator is the leaves drying out.

Note: Ensure you do not harvest too early. You want to make sure your bulb is a mature size and the wrapping quality is good.

Step 6- Carefully lift the bulbs with a spade or garden fork. Pull the plants, carefully brush off the soil, and let them cure in an airy, shady spot for two weeks. Then hang them upside down on a string in bunches of four to six.

Garlic in B.C.

B.C.’s climate is perfect for growing garlic! Dozens of local farmers produce this easy to grow crop.

To note: There many types of garlic.  But the 2 main categories are soft neck and hardneck.

In BC, hardneck is the most common category, as it is planted in October and is harvested in July.  What is great about this kind as it produces a delicious edible scape in June to be snatched off and eaten!

Soft neck can be planted here, but it is usually the type purchased in a local grocery store.  But, planting softneck garlic can give you the ability to create garlic braids!  Yes!  So pick your type to grow and have fun!


Fresh Eats Blog: Butternut Squash

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: butternut squash.

Did You Know?

Butternut squash is one of the most popular winter squashes? Did you know one butternut squash generally contains 354% of your daily need for Vitamin A- that is more than a pumpkin!

This low calorie squash has many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Just one serving has only 45 calories! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Roasted Squash with Cherry Tomatoes and Eggs



2 small butternut or acorn squashes (no larger than 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 sprigs
2 cups cherry tomatoes (11 ounces), stem-on, if desired
2 teaspoons chile paste, such as sambal oelek, plus more for serving
4 large eggs


Step 1- Preheat oven to 425 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Rub squashes all over with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and thyme leaves, then place, cut-sides down, on a baking sheet. Add thyme sprigs. Place on upper rack; roast 10 minutes.

Step 2- Meanwhile, toss tomatoes in remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt. Spread on second sheet in a single layer. Place on lower rack; roast until tomatoes are beginning to collapse and squashes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes more.

Step 3- Remove tomatoes. Turn squashes cut-sides up and roast 5 minutes more. If hollows in squashes are large enough, spoon a tomato or two into each. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon chile paste into each hollow, then crack an egg into each; season with salt.

Step 4- Bake until whites are set but still a bit wobbly and yolks are soft, 12 to 15 minutes. (Start checking for doneness at early end of range, removing squashes with cooked eggs as they’re done.)

Step 5- Let stand 3 minutes, then serve, with more chile paste and roasted tomatoes, and seasoned with pepper.

Ingredients at the Market

Butternut squash: Forstbauer Family Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Red Barn Plants and Produce

Thyme: Red Barn Plants and Produce

Cherry tomatoes: Ripple Creek Farm, Red Barn Plants and Produce, Never Say Die Farm

Butter: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Eggs: Rockweld Farm, Central Park Farm

Other Greens and Vegetables:  Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Butternut Squash Planting 101:

Step 1- Make sure you are not planting during cooler months. Butternut squash seeds are very susceptible to frost so ensure your soil is warm for germination.

Step 2- Since it is a vining vegetable, plant your seeds in soil that is on an incline (generally a hill and at about 18 inches high).

Step 3- Make sure your soil has plenty of nutrients because butternut squash are heavy feeders. This may require organic fertilizer.

Step 4- Plant five or six seeds per hill about four inches apart and one inch deep. Water regularly but ensure the ground is not soggy.

Step 5- After about ten days, the seeds will sprout. When they’re about six inches high, thin out the weakest leaving three plants per hill.

Note: Fruit maturation for this plant is about three to four months so if your growing season is short, it is recommended that you begin growing indoors.

Step 6- If planting indoors, make sure you have nutrient rich soil and place your pot in either a sunny window or greenhouse. Transplant to the garden after all danger of frost is past.

Note: Harden off the seedlings before transplanting.

Step 7- When cultivating your crop, make sure not to push down too deep because this squashs’ roots are shallow. Harvest when the skin turns hard and is difficult to pierce with your thumbnail.

Butternut Squash in B.C.

It is reported that the origin of butternut squash began around 1940 in Massachusetts. Despite this early beginning, squash in general have been eaten for hundreds of years!

While Quebec and Ontario are the two main squash producers in Canada, B.C. has dozens of farmers who produce seasonally. Interest in squash has been on the rise in recent decades but it still has low commercial value for the country.

Did you know there are now more than 6,500 hectares of land planted with squash every year worth more than $40 million?

Fresh Eats Blog: Kale

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: kale.

Did you know kale can reduce inflammation, help the liver detox, and even protect brain cells from stress?

Did You Know?

Did you know kale contains more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk? This nutrient packed super food is a great addition to a number of traditional meals! In one cup of kale your body will receive 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein- all this with just 33 calories!

Kale is in season in South West British Columbia from September all the way until March! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Kale Slaw with Red Cabbage and Carrots



tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
Coarse salt and pepper
3 cups mixed shredded kale and red cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds


Step 1- In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, mustard, and apple-cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2- In another bowl, combine kale, cabbage, carrot, parsley, and red onion with sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds.

Step 3- Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat.

Ingredients at the Market





Apple-cider Vinegar:

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Kale Planting 101:

Step 1- Since kale is hardy, the planting season is not as big of a concern. If you plant in the late summer, you can harvest all the way until the winter.

Note: If you add mulch during the colder months, this increases the chance your kale will last through the winter. You can also shield your kale with row covers or other homemade covers.

Step 2- Plant the seeds one quarter to half an inch deep into well-drained, light soil.

Step 3- Mix one and a half cups of fertilizer per 25 feet of row into the top three to four inches of soil.

Step 4- Thin the seedlings so that they are about eight to twelve inches apart after about 2 weeks or growing.

Step 5- Harvest your kale when it is about the size of your hand. Make sure you do not pick too many leaves per harvest and ensure you do not pick to bud found at the top of the plant.

Kale in B.C.

Kale is one of twelve varieties of vegetables that you can grow over the winter in this province.

This vegetable was once used for medicinal purposes and was abundant in Europe. Russian kale was the first to be introduced to Canada in the early 19th century by traders.

You can find dozens of farms that produce kale across B.C.!

Fresh Eats Blog: Swiss Chard

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: Swiss chard.

Did you know Swiss chard is believed to have developed from a form of wild beet thousands of years ago?

Did You Know?

Did you know Swiss chard is closely related to beets? The main difference between the two is that beets are grown for their roots while Swiss chard is harvested for its leaf.

Swiss chard is full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, K and C. This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked with many choosing the later because its bitter taste is more subtle this way. Thanks to these nutrients and more, Swiss chard is known to improve bone, brain and heart health.

Swiss chard is in season in South West British Columbia from September to November! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Sautéed Swiss Chard



3 pounds red Swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper


Step 1- Rinse Swiss chard well. Trim tough ends; slice stalks about 3/4 inch thick. Slice leaves about 1 inch thick.

Step 2- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm olive oil. Cook garlic until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 3- Stir in stalks; cook, stirring, until slightly soft, 5 to 6 minutes.

Step 4- Add half the leaves; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Cover; cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add remaining leaves; sprinkle with another teaspoon sugar. Cover; cook, tossing occasionally, until leaves are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 5- Uncover; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in red-wine vinegar; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

Ingredients at the Market

Swiss chard: Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers

Red- Wine Vinegar: Red Barn Plants & Produce

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Swiss Chard Planting 101:

Step 1- Swiss chard does well in both warm and cool environments. Mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of single row. For fall harvest, plant chard seeds again about 40 days before the first fall frost date.

Step 2- Plant the seeds one half to three quarters of inch deep in a well-drained space.

Step 3- Place the seeds about 18 inches apart in single rows or 10 to 18 inches apart in wide rows. This will allow you to sow eight to ten seeds per foot of row.

Step 4- When the plants have reached about three to four inches tall, thin them out so that they are four to six inches apart. You may want this space to be larger if you plants are larger.

Step 5- Ensure you water the Swiss chard are watered often during dry spells. This is especially important in the summer.

Note: You can add mulch to help the plants maintain moisture.

Step 6- Make sure the plants do not become overgrown. When this happens, they lose their flavour.

Step 7- Harvest your Swiss chard when the plants are about six to eight inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves one to a half inches above the ground with a sharp knife. This will help new leaves grow and provide another harvest.

Swiss Chard in B.C.

It is believed Swiss chard was introduced to North America by colonists who wanted another variety of green in their diet.

Did you know that Swiss chard is in fact not native to Switzerland? The chard was named after Swedish botanist, Koch, who gave it its scientific name.

There are dozens of farmers who produce Swiss chard in this province and some of them you can find at the Coquitlam Farmers Market! This plant thrives in both our warm and cooler seasons making it an easy crop to grow.

Fresh Eats Blog: Pears

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: pears.

Did You Know?

Did you know there are over three thousand varieties of pears grown in the world but none are native to North America?

Due to their low acidity, pears are often suggested for weaning babies as they are not too hash or their digestive system. This fruit has more fibre and potassium than apples!

A medium sized pear has about 300 calories and used to be known as “butter fruit” for its soft, butter-like texture. Pears are in season in South West British Columbia from August until December! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Caramelized Pears



3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium pears, quartered and cored
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Step 1- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high.

Step 2- Add pears, one cut side down, and cook until browned, then reduce heat to medium and cook 3 minutes. Turn pears to other cut side and cook 4 minutes.

Step 3- Add sugar and 1 tablespoon water, swirling pan to combine. Turn pears skin side down and cook until sauce is thickened slightly, 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla and pinch of salt.

Step 4- Serve warm with ice cream!

Ingredients at the Market


Butter: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Ice Cream: Rocky Point Ice Cream

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Pear Growing 101:

Step 1- In order to produce fruit, you need to plant more than one variety of pear tree. This will allow cross-pollination but ensure these varieties are compatible.

Step 2- Make sure you plant your trees in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun that has good are circulation.

Step 3- Space the trees 20 to 25 feet apart. If you are using dwarf trees, space them 12 to 15 feet apart. For trees that come from containers, remove the plant. Use shears to remove any circling roots. For grafted trees, position the inside of the curve of the graft union away from the sun when planting.

Step 4- Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them. Do not add fertilizer or topsoil to the hole.

Step 5- Make sure you water your young tree enough in order to establish roots.

Step 6- Add a small amount of fertilizer. If you have highly fertile soil, use less fertilizer.

Note: Do not add too much fertilizer because it is important for the tree to not have too much nitrogen!

Step 7- Prune your trees to either a central leader system or a modified leader system (this is easier to maintain). If you have a dwarf tree it is better to prune to a central leader system.

Step 8- During the first summer, remove any shoots that form within 18 inches of the ground. The result of this should look like a Christmas tree. Prune your trees regularly and thin the fruit as well.

Note: After your trees are established, water them regularly.

Step 9- When harvesting the fruit, pick them when they are fully grown but still very hard. Keeping the fruit at room temperature to ripen will produce the best product.

Pears in B.C.

Did you know pears are one of the very few fruit that don’t fully ripen on the tree? In Canada, commercial pear production is limited to regions with a mild winter climate. The tops producers of pears in this country are Ontario, Nova Scotia and B.C.!

The climate in B.C.’s Okanagan make growing pears easy and successful but this fruit is grown across the southern region of this province.

Hundreds of farmers have been growing pears in B.C. for decades with no sign of slowing down!

Getting to Know: Gabi & Jules

Even a small shift towards local shopping can make a tremendous difference.

Gabi & Jules has exploded on to the Tri-City scene with its decor and homemade pies. Expanding from the Cafe Divano chain, Owner Lisa Beecroft ensures the products her bakery creates embody everything that is local.

We endeavour to source local produce for our products whenever possible as pies are a perfect opportunity to highlight seasonal fruits! We’re lucky to live where we do and have access to such delicious high quality fruit.

On top of this, Gabi & Jules products are all made in house. Starting from scratch and made by hand, Lisa and her staff strive for high-quality, homemade styled baked goods.

We make everything we sell at our bakery in Port Moody. Nothing is outsourced so we control every aspect of production to ensure the quality and integrity of our baked goods. We only use butter, use no artificial colours or additives and our pies are served in a reusable pie tin.

In addition to the work they do to support the local community, Lisa and her husband Patrick have opened their lives in a way you won’t see from most business owners.

Inspired by our daughter Juliana who has autism we wanted to create an environment that was inclusive of individuals of all abilities. This inclusive hiring philosophy has greatly enriched our bakery and currently employs seven individuals with autism.

Gabi & Jules, notably named after their two daughters, has grown from simply creating good quality baked goods, to a space where individuals with diverse abilities can learn and grow.

From delivering product to Cafe Divano, aiding the kitchen team, to helping front of house staff, Lisa’s mission is to create a space where everyone is welcomed and included in the process of running her business.

Widely known for producing delicious pies and baked goods with a twist on tradition, staff members always pay close attention to connections made with their customers and guests.

We believe in using only quality ingredients in everything we make and our customers can trust the integrity of the products we produce.

As a local company, the B.C. Buy Local movement is incredibly important to Lisa and her family. She notes, by supporting local businesses, over three times the amount of money can be circulated back in the area than when goods are purchased from a large chain.

You are making a significant difference in the lives of local families when you choose to purchase locally produced products.

Lisa says even a small shift towards local shopping can make a tremendous difference in our communities and local economies.

…but it requires conveying what the value and benefits of buying local are. Increasing people’s awareness of the benefits of shopping locally needs to be a wide-reaching effort as it requires changing people’s habits, so not an easy task.

Getting to Know: Redl’s Home Grown Beef

July 7, 2017 was the beginning of evacuations, some lasting three to five weeks due to fires burning out of control.

Redl’s Home Grown Beef has be a part of the Coquitlam Farmers Market, and additional markets across the Lower Mainland for many years. Barrie and his wife Marge, along with the rest of their family have established a devout customers base. Sadly this past month, fires have taken control over parts of British Columbia, affecting many including Barrie and his family.

Physically our ranch property and our government range permits are still intact. We say this “HUMBLY” as other ranchers have not faired as well. Members of our community got together to help at the fire centres, community halls distributing foods, and other necessities.

Barrie and his family being evacuees of the devastating fires themselves, stayed back to help with efforts along with many other community members.

Many folks stayed to fight fire, help neighbours, house horses, cattle and other animals that needed a place to be safe. During this time we as ranchers were allowed to travel through check points controlled by the RCMP and military. We helped the SPCA to rescue livestock, helped evacuate cattle from burnt areas to new pastures. The fire fighters needed drivers to transport water to crews working in subdivisions cooling hotspots.

After a number of weeks aiding fire efforts along with many other community members, and countless nights spent watching tensely as a red hue filled the sky, Barrie and his family made their way back to the ranch.

We are seeing cattle in need of fall pasture, winter feed and ranchers attempting to locate them as they have vacated their normals rangelands due to the fences being burnt.

Despite the destruction, there were moments of comradery that was encouraging for the Redl family.

It was very heartwarming to see the community spirit. Some of the RCMP who came into our community from other cities across Canada were taken aback by the rural attitude concerning helping wherever needed.

So now with heavy smoke clearing and fires beginning to settle down, Redl’s Home Grown Beef has made its much anticipated return to market, continuing to develop their relationships with each and every customer, as well as provide meats from an environment that is respectful of the land and of the animal.

Old fashioned values are the foundation of our business. Treat every customer as a member of our extended family. Be truthful and up front to our customers-listen to concerns and queries. All questions are to be answered to the best of our knowledge and often can be somewhat educational.

Another important value for Redl’s Home Grown Beef is being environmentally sustainable.

Our operations are in sync with nature; the seasons and the climate. Our cattle spend most of their time contently grazing in a low stress environment.

Along with participating in farmers markets as a vendor, Barrie and his family are strong advocates for local, small scale producers.

We purchase products from small family businesses, who are involved in agriculture. We like to support family operations who put good wholesome food on the plates of their customers. They all have a story to tell from how they raise their products, and the dedications and perseverance they exhibit. Buy local, support the small producer, and eat healthy!

After a long journey of evading fires; first evacuating to the west avoiding lighting strikes; then returning home to bring back evacuated livestock as fires threatened to jump the Fraser River; to where the family ended up for about two weeks- east in Horsefly- before finally heading home, Barrie and his family has this to say.

From all of us at Redl’s Home Grown Beef, Barrie, Marge, Travis, Connie-lyn and our grandchildren; we have been overwhelmed by the emails, phone calls and cards expressing concern for our safety and well being. From customers, vendors and market staff members. We thank you all!

Fresh Eats Blog: Cucumbers

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: cucumbers.

Did You Know?

Did you know the term “cool as a cucumber” comes from the cucumber’s ability to cool the temperature of blood? This is why they are included in skin regimes.

Cucumbers contain plenty of your daily vitamin and mineral intake, including Vitamin B, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium.

Cucumbers are in season in South West British Columbia from August until October! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Salad- Stuffed Tomatoes 



3 red potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cucumber, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch-long matchsticks
1/2 bunch arugula (1 1/3 cups), cut into thin strips
4 onions, peeled and cut into thin rounds


Step 1- Place potatoes in a small saucepan; cover with salted water. Bring water to a boil, and cook potatoes until fork tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and transfer potatoes to an ice-water bath until cool.

Step 2- Drain potatoes, and slice into 1 1/2-inch-long matchsticks; set aside.

Step 3- Slice off the tops of tomatoes; discard tops. Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds and flesh; discard. Set the tomato “bowls” aside.

Step 4- In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

Step 5- In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, cucumber, arugula, and onions. Add reserved vinaigrette; toss gently to combine. Divide salad among tomato bowls, and garnish with dill fronds, if available.

Ingredients at the Market

Cucumbers: Forstbauer Farms, Nutrigreens, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Potatoes: Forstbauer Farms, Shen’s Farm, Never Say Die,

Tomatoes: Forstbauer Farms, Never Say Die, Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Arugula: Langley Organic Growers

Onions: Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Butter & Cheese: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Cucumber Planting 101:

Step 1- Since cucumbers are so easy to grow, feel free to plant your seeds directly into your garden in May! Cucumbers can grow in partial shade but for optimal growth, place them in as much sun as possible. When planting outside, make sure you are using a raised plant bed for the best drainage. If you are growing them inside, supplement sunlight with a growing light and transplant into a pot.  If you have a later start for planting, purchasing starter plants is ok too!  Just ensure you plant these by June 1.

Step 2- Add organic fertilizer, compost or manure to improve growth. Since they are vine crops, so it’s best to grow cucumbers on a trellis to keep them up off the ground, which help reduce the chance of pests getting at your crop. This also helps them grow vertical and straight.

Step 3- Plant your cucumber seeds about 1 inch apart, and about 1/2 inches deep. You can either make a hole in the dirt and drop the seeds into it, or you place the seeds on top of the soil and gently press them in.

Step 4- If planting indoors, place one seed per seedling tray. Due to their growth rate, you will have to transfer the plant into a pot. Options range from pea, cow or plastic pots.

Step 5- Water once you have planted your seeds. Cucumbers love water, so ensure they are watered regularly so that the soil does not dry.

Step 6- Harvesting your plant could come sooner than you might expect because of their growth rate. Cut the cucumber off the vine instead of pulling it off. Pulling could damage the cucumber itself as well as the vine.

Note: If you wait too long to harvest, the cucumber could become very seedy. It is always wise to follow the instructions on that are specified on the package of seeds.

Cucumbers in B.C.

Cucumbers have been cultivated both in India and China for about 3,000 years! Did you know Christopher Columbus is generally given credit for introducing them to North America?

Cucumbers are considered a greenhouse vegetable in this province. The industry relies on state-of-the-art facilities and production practices to produce high-quality fresh vegetables.

Without this technology, cucumbers have a much shorter season in B.C. since this vegetable does not fair well in the cold.

Getting to Know: Mandair Farms

The Farmers markets is what keeps me going, it gives me the strength to do what I do when people show their support and buy from us locally.

Mandair Farms has been a part of the Coquitlam Farmers Market for many years. Now run by a core team of five family members all of whom are under 25 except for matriarch Jasbir, the farm uses sustainable agriculture to produce some of the best fruit in the province!

Running out of Abbotsford, son and manager of all farming operations, Sajan says he is proud of what his young team has accomplished this year. Despite their young age, they still focuse on core values.

I am always looking for new innovative ways to run the farm and the business. I recently just went to Scotland for the international “Bridging the Gap” program that focused on passing down information from the older generation in Europe to the new young generation that is interested in sustainable farming.- Sajan

Mandair farms uses the best of both worlds in terms of conventional farming as well as organic methods. The family believes that both methods have pro’s and con’s and try to integrate them in order to create the best product.

In terms of keeping it sustainable, if there is a need to spray to save the crop we will do so instead of letting all of the hard work go to waste. Remember; spraying costs money, if we don’t need to we won’t spray.

Some of these practices have been passed through generations. Mother and guider, Jasbir grew up in a family of farmers.

My family has always farmed, even back in India. My grandmother used to grow food just to donate to the people that did not have anything, so I was born into. I have raised my kids into farming as well, my son now manages all the farming operations after his father passed away two years ago.-Jasbir

Mandair Farms began selling their produce to markets based on a fluke situation. With crop left over and a need to sell, Jasbir discovered the chain a farmers markets across the province.

I did not apply or contact anyone, I just showed up one Sunday and I think it was Tammi that was the assistant market manager. She asked who I was, and didn’t question that I wasn’t supposed to be there but let me set up. The following week Tabitha turned me away but told me about the application process. Since then markets have become our primary store front.

Jasbir says growing in B.C. posses no real difficulty in terms of production. The weather is good, the land is good and water is the absolute best. What she finds most challenging is finding suitable people to help out with operations.

The new generation doesn’t want to work in the farm doing labor. The other difficulty is selling the product to actually make a living. We can have a really good crop but the price that is paid from the cannery is sometimes not even enough to make ends meet.

Despite this, the passion to farm and the love of community continues to drive Mandair Farms. Jasbir says seeing where your food is coming from and speaking to the farmer that grew it really helps to connect people with the food that they eat, and supporting the farmer will always feel good.

Supporting local supports the local economy, if you buy from a local farmer they are able to increase their production to support the demand and therefore provide jobs to people in the community.

Jasbir argues locally grown food is the best for your health for many reasons. It is grown close to home and comes straight from the farm without being stored for longer periods of time. She also says the taste of locally grown produce will lead to higher satisfaction knowing your meals are healthy and homemade.

…so my first market was under an umbrella tent with a small table on a very rainy day.

Fresh Eats Blog: Cherries

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: cherries.

Did you know cherries belong to the rose family?

Did You Know?

Did you know British Columbia grows 95% of Canada’s cherries? The cherry fruit is part of the Rosaceae family which also includes almonds, peaches, apricots and plums.

Cherries are in season in South West British Columbia for the months of July and August! They are known to have a very short fruiting season and can be among the earliest to ripen.

Recipe of the Week

Cherry Basil Bruschetta


2 Cups cherries
1/4 small red onion, or 1 shallot finely diced
1/4 Cup of basil
1/4 Cup chives
2 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 Cup feta or goat cheese.
pinch of salt & pepper


Step 1- Pit and chop cherries. In a small bowl mix together onions, cherries, and stir in basil, chives, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Step 2- Let sit while you prepare your baguette.
Step 3- Slice your baguette and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Step 4- Lightly toast in a 400F oven for about eight minutes, or until crisp.
Step 5- Spoon over toasted baguette slices.
Step 6- Crumble goat cheese or feta over the cherries and finish with a crack of black pepper.

Ingredients at the Market

Cherries: Harvest Direct Farms, Hill Top Farm, Snowy Mountain Organics

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Bread: A Bread Affair, Delish Gluten Free, Gesundheit Bakery Ltd, Marie’s Guilt Free Bakery

Vinegar: Red Barn Plants & Produce

Basil: Ripple Creek, Forstbauer Farms, Floralia Growers

Chives: Floralia Growers

Steps on How To

Cherry Planting 101:

Step 1- Place seeds less than five centimetres down and about a half a meter apart in either a pot or the ground. Then fill the hole up to soil levels.

Step 2- After they have sprouted, space the cherries to about six meters apart. Like most plants, cherries don’t like being over crowded.

Step 3- Cherries need sun and water. BUT they do not grow well if they are waterlogged so keep the plant slightly moist and do not over water. Test the soil down to about eight centimetres and water whenever this depth feels dry.

Step 4- Add mulch or organic compost once the plant has sprouted. Fertilizer is best avoided with young trees because they are easy to burn. The compost should give plenty of nutrients.

Step 5- As an option, prune the cherry tree occasionally as this can help with its growth.

Note: You can add defences against birds such as hanging CDs from branches or fend off burrowing animals by building a physical barrier.

Cherries in B.C.

There are more than 1,000 types of cherries but approximately 20 are grown commercially in B.C. spread across about 3,500 acres. You can find some of these varieties right at the Coquitlam Farmers Market!

Did you know, Canada holds the record for baking the largest cherry pie in the world? One weighing in at 39,683 pounds was baked in Oliver, B.C. breaking the previous record.